Historically I have played Civ, Civ2, and Civ3, very peacefully, lying low until I have developed a huge tech lead. In Civ 3 this is much harder to accomplish. This is nothing ground breaking but I have, on Monarch difficulty, had enourmous success with a early war straight out of the gate. I usually take a couple AI cities and get an area of land unmatch by most of the other civ in the game. In addition, because of my despotic government, it really does nothing but accelerate my empires growth rate. Comparing one game in which I initiated an early war versus and ly low philosophy I found my overall civ score was almost double. Anybody with a similar experience. Any favorite civ for this strat, so far I favor the Aztec for tiny maps and the Persians in standard maps.